Why streaming DJ music is stupid

Streaming services are in high demand amongst DJs.
But is it the hail Mary pass we all think it is?
I say: it’s not.

Here’s why:

Subscriptions suck

First, the subscription.

I’ve said it multiple times on this website:

A subscription is a tax on the poor and stupid.

“If you can’t afford the full price, you can ‘rent’it.”
But what most failed to realize is, a recurring fee is the most expensive payment method, ever, period.

You might look at a perpetual-license-fee of $150 to download songs from Beatport and think it is expensive.
But you can also pay a $10 monthly fee…
That’s cheap right?

No, it’s not, because after 15 months, it will cost you $160, next month $170, next $180 etc.
This is $10, $20, $30, infinitely too much.

So you overpay after 15 months.
This starts to add up quickly.
Each month.

Ending the subscription

By far my biggest beef with subscriptions is, they are it notoriously hard to cancel.
This is by-design.

They pull every trick in the book to make you stay.

  • manually reaching out to the help desk because you need to give them a reason (Amazon for example).
    Only if they approve of the reason they will let you go.
    But often, they won’t.
    Because “conveniently” they don’t respond or your reason is not “valid”.

    Or “oops” “accidentally” your support ticket wasn’t handled in time, so you can’t cancel your subscription and are stuck with it for another year.

    There are also companies to make you pay to jump to the front of the support cue.
  • That cancel button is very hard to find.
  • They make you jump though countless hoops on the website
  • Cancellation-fees. Sometimes egregious ones: $100, $200
    These fees are always only mentioned in the fine print you never read when signing up.

It’s a Hotel California like situation: you can check out, but never leave.
A subscription is a commitment for-life.

If you see one, run!
It only benefits the company, never you.

Saving money

Every money saving guru will tell you, that if you want to save money, start with cutting your subscriptions is the easiest route.
Start with your streaming subscription.

It starts adding up, especially for the months you don’t have any gigs … Januari, Februari, March, July

What is it ends?

What if the subscription ends, while you are DJing?
What if the subscription end due to a bureaucracy/administration error?

It’s all gone!

Paying for a streaming service is investing in something without reaping the rewards.

Let’s say, you paid $20 a month for 3 years.
You spend almost $1000 dollars (36×20 = $720 to be precise) on music.

You decide to cancel the subscription, because it isn’t working out, not enough songs are available, bad quality, you name it…
All your music is gone, poof, went up in smoke.

How many fun things you could have done with $1000?

Streaming services will take the music you need hostage, until you pay… and keep paying until you die.

Hotel California …


There are limitations to streaming music.
What those limitations are, depends on the streaming service and your DJ software/DJ player.

Some limitations with streaming could be:

Unlimited library

A streaming service allows you to handle request from the crowd.
I think this is the only valid reason to have a streaming subscription in my book.

But, how often does that happen?
I mean, isn’t there another way to circumvent this?

What about: just buying the most requested songs!
And turn down that one freakishly niche request.

Streaming services have big libraries, but they are not infinite.
I don’t know about you, but that song I’m searching is almost NEVER available at the streaming service.

If there is a remote possibility for a song being requested, it should be in your library in the first place.

Internet connection

Streaming only works when you have a stable internet connection.

But what if the internet is out?
Or the WIFI doesn’t work?
What if the streaming server has a hiccup?
What if the RJ45 connector has a broken pin and slowly exits your CDJ/laptop? (we all know that CDJ never have broken buttons, right??)

Clubs and festivals are crowded places where often wireless signals aren’t reliable because of interference.

Do you really want to bank the success of your gig on a working internet connection that can fail at any time?

Yeah sure, luckily most software buffers the song when loading so it won’t cut out halfway.
But still, how do you know your next song will load, or the song after that, or the song after that?

On top of that, a streaming subscription is not enough.
You also need an extra internet subscription with a cell-phone provider.
That streaming subscription all-of-a-sudden got twice as expensive.

Missing songs

You have prepared your gig.
You know exactly what you are going to play.
There is a flow in the set.

You know for each song where to mix in and out.
The crowd went nuts last few times.

And halfway through your set, you encounter an error:
“this song is not available anymore”

Now you can’t play that banger, that mixed superb with the other songs.

Or … there is only another version of the song available.
But you only find out WHILE you are playing the song…. because that awesome section doesn’t come up anymore where you could mix out to song Z.

This is the reality of streaming: you can’t rely on it!

Digital rights holders can change their mind at any time.
They are not obliged to notify you.


As you might have guessed, I’m not a fan of streaming services.

For home-use it’s great.
But for a performing environment, not.

Above all: streaming is expensive.
It’s an bottomless money pit.
You are basically bleeding money infinitely.

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